Lancaster Spirit of the American Doughboy

Lancaster Spirit of the American Doughboyloupe
431 S. Ann St.

This E.M. Viquesney Spirit of the American Doughboy is dedicated to the men and women of the Seventh Ward of Lancaster who served in World War I.

The inscription reads:

Dedicated to
The men and women
of the Seventh Ward
Lancaster, PA.
who by their patriotism
courage and devotion
helped win
The World War
1914 - 1918
for humanity, liberty and righteousness
erected by the
Citizens of the Seventh Ward

The Doughboy was originally dedicated November 11, 1925 at East End Junior High, now known as Edward Hand Middle School, in a ceremony in which the Lancaster Gold Star Mothers, American Legion, Knights of Malta, and students of the Junior High, played prominent roles. It was unveiled by three Gold Star Mothers, and tribute was paid to the 482 men and women of the Seventh Ward who served during the war. It was purchased with funds raised by public subscriptions of residents of the Seventh Ward, and had been in Lancaster nearly a year while an appropriate site was selected. The Doughboy was moved to the Stahr Armory location in 1962. The doughboy's arms and rifle barrel have been cut off and replaced. By 1986 it had lost its right hand and grenade. They were restored. In 1992, vandals pushed the whole sculpture of its base and onto the grass. Currently, the statue appears to be in very good condition.

On June 12, 2013, The statue was moved back to its original Seventh Ward neighborhood location on South Ann Street after 51 years. The Armory was put up for sale and the City of Lancaster did not want the statue to be sold with the building and possibly lose this historic treasure. Because the statue had been in front of the Armory for 51 years, legally the City no longer owned the statue. The City's Public Art Manager contacted the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (the property owner) to negotiate the return of the statue to the City. A public meeting was held at Edward Hand Middle School to discuss moving the statue back to its original location in front of the school. All attendees were in favor of returning the statue to the school and the decision was subsequently approved by a School District of Lancaster School Board vote. The return to Hand Middle School was prompted by the South Ann Concerned Neighbors group. The new location was carefully selected because of its close proximity to the school, ample lighting, and two surveillance cameras mounted on the school that survey the area surrounding the statue. A rededication ceremony was held on October 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm.